“Why can’t I just stop thinking about this?” “Enough..!!” “Really, again??!!” I often find myself repeating all these words in a vicious loop in my head. I often find myself struggling between spiritua-lity and rea-lity..
Spirituality says “Let it go”, reality says “You are kidding yourself again!”
Obsessing, Overthinking & Overanalysing are the by-products of anxiety which is a by-product of Uncertainty!!
Uncertainty – The Royal Pain
Uncertainty can be an incredibly frustrating, overwhelming, and even paralyzing experience. The harder you try to fight uncertainty, the more it mocks you, pulls you down and sucks the happiness out of the present.
So as soon as the “brain” realises that the “mind” is going into an overdrive, it takes out all its tools and starts “analysing“. Now the main role of “analysing” is to come up with a solution to either solve the problem (Duh..here) or even better, come up with a make-believe plan to delude (aka protect) ourselves from the misery that we are setting ourselves for..(alright..interesting…Thanks Brain!). We get relieved.
However, this relief is only temporary..sigh!
As soon as you convince your mind to “Stop thinking about the future”, “Just go with the flow” or maybe “Its all in God’s hand and you are his child, he won’t do wrong by you”, your tricky mind says (with a devilish grin) “Oh yeah? but what about this _(another pain in the ass uncertain thought).
In hindsight I would like to say “Yea..this one..phew!”
As for me, till now I have thought the worst possible hypothesis of what could go wrong, and how pathetic a person I am etc. But well We are the Survivors aren’t we now (Devilish grin right back at you “Mind”)
So a few strategies to stop over thinking:
Like really let’s do it the old fashion way.. avoid thoughts. Sing, play loud music, take a cold shower (even if its winters), go for a run (even if its burning outside). My point is indulge in some activity, move, don’t just sit there..get on it..distract yourself. The purpose is to each your brain that the trigger is NOT dangerous and does not require the warning signal. In a way tell your “mind” to “Shut up!”
Stop trying to answer the worry question
Yes, leave it unresolved. Don’t ask your friends and family whether everything will be okay. Allow the uncertainty to be there. Eventually, you will get used to the uncertain thought and your anxiety will go away. This will actually increase your anxiety because you will no longer be doing the thing that you had been doing to avoid it. Just train the brain here to stop analysing. Easier said than done?! This answer might sound a bit confusing and maybe even crazy right now but….
Wait for it……..
There is a difference between thinking a number in your head and doing the math in your head
Thoughts pop into your head frequently that you do nothing with. For instance, if you see a bright coloured dress, you might think to yourself “that’s a nice dress.” That’s an automatic thought, it just popped up without you trying to do anything. You probably then do nothing with that thought. You do not try to analyse it. That is exactly what you do with Uncertainty thoughts….you do nothing!!
The problem is not the kind of something you try to do with the thought, the problem is just that you are trying to do anything with it.
It’s difficult..these steps, but you got to do what you have to do in order to keep yourself sane. So uncertainty, bring it on..I never back down from a fight anyways….